He's the toughest cowboy on patrol fighting darkness--until a rare woman reminds him of the light in his heart...
Barrett Iron Feather hardly has time for romance between busting drug rings as a veteran police officer and maintaining his roping winning streak at rodeos. Then his world turns upside down when the police chief goes behind his back and makes Barrett head of security for a Hollywood movie set. Skystone Canyon is a historical western being filmed in the picturesque mountain town of Bandits Hollow, and Barrett's furious he's been relegated to supervising "pampered city slickers". Yet he never dreamed duty would force him to run smack-dab into his first boyhood crush, former child star Lainey Neil. All grown up now, Lainey's no longer the chubby teen driven by her abusive father to attend "fat camp" at a Colorado horse ranch. She's a beautiful film star, and she's shocked to come face to face with Barrett, that unforgettable cowboy who taught her the grit she needed to survive her hellish childhood. Can a second chance at first love possibly blossom into forever love? Only destiny knows if Hollywood-style happy endings can turn out to be real...
Skystone Canyon is Book 2 in the Iron Feather Brothers contemporary romance series.
Iron Feather Brothers Series: Meet the Iron Feather Brothers--they're tough, they're dangerous, and family means everything to them. Whether it's living up to their ancestor's outlaw reputation or brandishing their own style of justice, these men have each other's backs. And it takes very special women to get under their skin and untangle their barbed-wire hearts in order to find love in this contemporary western romance series set in the Rocky Mountains.
A sweet second chance romance between two teenage friends, who haven't seen each other in a decade.
This is the second book about the Iron Feather brothers, it is Barrett's story, the police officer who struggles with his anger management.
Even with the wounds that Barrett carries in his soul, from the abusive time in children's home in his teens, and the issues that have developed from the wounds, he has always known what he wants to do with his life. To serve and protect with all his heart, mind, and body, and mainly protect those who can not do that themselves. He might be quick to anger, but he is a good man, with the best of intentions.
Lainey Neil has come a long way in the past ten years. She is finally finding her own platform, she is getting on own feet. The abuse from her father long behind her, and with the support of those who have always been there for her, she is ready to build a new life, a new direction to her career. But not everything is what it seems, and as the accident on the movie set starts to escalate, it seems even her life might be in danger.
I liked the connection between Lainey and Barrett. From the before, where Barrett saved her from her father, and now, as they are getting to know each other again. I thought the chemistry between them had the warm and fuzzy feelings, it was a delightful mix of the innocence of a childhood and the passion and adoration of the adult minds.
The storyline was intriguing, and I like the idea behind the book and the series. The three bothers who lost their parents and had to survive the abuse of the system as 'half-blood', who are seeking the connection with their mother's culture while trying to live in modern times.
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, the book of Dillon and Tessa. I loved the world the author had built, the magic of the Native Americans that was integrated into the tale, and the bond between the brothers that was tight and true.
Even though Dillon is mentioned in the story a couple of times, I missed the person I got to know in the first book, and Tessa, of course, who was not mentioned at all. The great ambiance of the small town wasn't used that much as the main focus was on the movie set. Skytone Canyon is definitely a standalone novel since it does not have an obvious connection to the story of the first book at all. I wish it did have or was more in line with the first book. The whole amazing connection to the bears Lainey was seeing wasn't even explained at all, to her or the readers, a point in a first book that really impressed me.
The movie set and its events itself was lively and entertaining. Yes, there were used artistic liberties to create a movie-set-world by the author, but that didn't bother me any. It was the rather stiff dialog through the story that surprised me since I didn't experience this in the first book. Especially with the hero and heroine, as they used the 'Ms' and 'Mr' and 'Deputy Iron Feather' while approaching each other. I guess it was supposed to be humorous, but it was bristly and uncomfortable most of the time. I swear I expected Lainey to say "I do declare..." at any moment like she was from the Gone With the Wind. Was she stuck in her character from the movies, I do not know, but the story was missing the natural flow with the at times had awkward dialogue. (Or maybe it was the eARC that I received, maybe (hopefully) there were edits done after that since the book did have a considerate amount of obvious mistakes in it as well.)
So, maybe not my favorite book in the series, but I still liked the story. The main characters were charming and charismatic, I like them and empathized with them and the hardships they have had faced during their young lives.
There were laughter and tears, there was the joy of the reunion of the young hearts and the intrigue that was created by the sabotage on the movie set. It is a good story, the series has a solid background foundation to be building on, and the brothers have won over of my heart. This story just needed a bit more work, little polishing, and smoothness, to be scored more than
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
“What the hell are you doing?” cried Lainey, dismounting from Sand and dropping the reins. The faithful gelding remained in place, trained to ground tie. Lainey marched over to Barrett with fire in her eyes.
She took a swing.
Her knuckles met his jaw hard, making his head swivel back. Shocked, Barrett teetered for a second and regained his footing from the force of her blow. He’d seen more out-of-control women than he cared to remember through his job as a policeman, usually jacked up on drugs and ready for bear. But he honestly never saw this one coming from a Hollywood actress who’d seemed so sweet a mere fifteen minutes ago while she’d gotten her face powdered to “camera ready” perfection.
“How dare you rescue me in front of the film crew!” Lainey demanded, her fists clenched. “Do you have any idea how long I’ve worked for respect in this industry? I insisted in my contract that I’d do all my own riding and stunts.” She pulled back her elbow for another slam. “And I was just about to stop that horse myself—”
Instinctively, Barrett blocked her arm and wrapped his elbow around her neck in a classic restraint hold, fully prepared to choke her out if he needed to. He held her body close to his chest and used his other arm to pin her hands, squeezing like a snake.
“Stop your horse, huh? Which is why she was accelerating?” he pointed out in a maddeningly calm tone, the one he always used on the job for dealing with crazy. Nevertheless, he couldn’t help noticing the way Lainey’s warm body felt against his chest—even if she was as mad as hell. Her skin and hair smelled as fresh as wildflowers, and her natural curves under the thin calico dress were nothing short of intoxicating. The more she wriggled, the tighter his arms cinched around her. Barrett couldn’t resist—he leaned his chin against the crook of her neck and simply breathed her in, feeling her pulse quicken against her soft skin, all the while keeping his hold firm. He didn’t want to scare her with his restraint, but he didn’t exactly want to get smacked again either.
“Let go of me!” she cried, flailing her legs to try and kick him. “You sabotaged me—”
Barrett smirked at her boldness and curled one of his legs around hers so she couldn’t get leverage—relishing the feel of being entwined with her more than he cared to admit. In the heat of the moment, they were totally wrapped up in one another, her heart beating as fast as a bird’s. Barrett pressed his cheek against Lainey’s and whispered in her ear, “May I remind you that you’ve already assaulted me once? For your information, Miss Neil, I’m a police officer. And if you don’t stop trying to hurt me, I’m going to have to arrest you.”
Lainey squirmed fiercely anyway, and Barrett deftly released his neck-hold and grabbed her elbow, twisting it to make her body swing with a quick flip to the ground that left her dizzied in shock. Then he bent down and pressed his knee against her back to secure his hold. Lainey wailed like a wildcat, the sound muffled by the tall grass her face was planted in. Before she knew it, Barrett had both arms pinned behind her back, when she heard a sharp click as cold metal slid over her wrists. Barrett rolled her over and sat on her knees so she couldn’t kick him and shot a glance at his watch as though comparing the time it took to handcuff Lainey with his latest calf-roping score in tie-down events. A hint of a smile surfaced on his lips. Clearly, he was impressed with his results.
“I have a gun, Miss Neil,” he flatly informed her, patting a bulge on his right hip hidden by the tail of his flannel shirt. “Just remember, this was the soft approach.”
“B-But I’m the star!” Lainey sputtered.
“Of the nearest jail?”
Lainey’s mouth dropped. “You wouldn’t!”
“Quite the opposite—it’s my job,” Barrett asserted. “Unless you straighten up and stop throwing punches at law enforcement. You think being pulled off a horse was embarrassing in front of the film crew? Wait till they see your mug shot.” He rubbed his jaw and glared at her. “I’d be happy to show the local judge my bruise.”
When it became clear Lainey had given up the idea of kicking, Barrett slid off her legs and sat cross-legged in front of her while she wriggled upright with her hands cuffed behind her back, still attempting to catch her breath. Her wrists had turned a painful pink.
“So, you’re a bit sensitive about how you’re perceived by that bozo director in butt-ugly boots?” Barrett glanced back at the film crew, who appeared to be milling around and at a loss for what to do since their ATVs wouldn’t start. “Something tells me that crew would be cheering right now if you’d decked him instead of me.” Another smirk settled on Barrett’s lips. “But I will compliment you on your right hook, Miss Neil. Very effective.”
Thank you so much for your thoughtful review! I appreciate the time and effort you put into reading Skystone Canyon!
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